H1 stamping in Jamaica Feb 18, 2014

pradeep s

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Dear All, 


I had my second H1 stamping on Tuesday Feb 18th in Kingston, Jamaica which went very smooth and I would like to share my experience.


On 17th afternoon, I took the JetBlue flight from JFK to Kingston Non-stop flight, and after finishing with immigration office, I took a taxi to a hotel called "Christar Villas" which was just a decent hotel and included breakfast. I selected to stay here, because it was only half mile away from the US embassy on the same road called Hope Road. I just walked to the embassy for the 930 morning. Before entering the embassy, one of the guards will ask your DS160, i797, photo and Passport. After verifying, the security guard at the door asks if we have a cellphone. Cellphone cannot be taken inside. A local lady on the street tells the people that she can hold the phone safe and collect it later and gives a token. This lady is not part of the embassy, so it is better to leave the cellphone at the hotel or whoever you came with, or take the risk like me and some others. This lady gave a token number and I collected it later from her and had to give her USD 5.


After security check, we go inside, and inside the building, a lady checks again ( passport, DS160, i797, and photos) pins them together, and also pins a Ticket Number, and asks us to sit outside the door. We were around 20-30 people outside, and then they call by batches of 10-12.


After going inside the building, we go to the window when they call our number. 


This lady asked me the passport/paper which were pinned together. Then asked me to go to another section. When they called me at the Window, the official asked me first following questions in following order:


1. How long will you be staying in Jamaica ?

   I have booked my return ticket for 21st. So I will be staying till friday. I came last night. 


2. Did you Study in US ? 

  Yes I did my MBA and then I joined this company after completing the masters.


3. What do you currently do at your job ?

  The company (Non-IT) , does so and so things, and I do so and so things.  


4. My H1 visa (6yrs) will expire in Sept 2014. What will you do after that ?

  Well, I have worked long in present company, and I can start similar business in India. 


5. Ok you can come on Thursday (Feb 20th) and collect your passport at 2pm.

   Thank you Sir.


No documents were asked. I was carrying around 5 kilos of documents.


After this I walked back to the hotel, had lunch, and decided to go to Montego Bay (in short Mobay) which was on West end of Jamaica. But since it was already 2-3 pm, I decided to go Next day. Also the bus ride was 4-5 hours one way, so going and returning back would consume lot of time. Also I was alone, so I was not able to decide. The best thing to do would be to take a bus to Montego Bay the same day after visa interview and come night before the day you collect passport. 


Since I had only 1 full day, (wednesday 19th), I decided to take a bus to Ocho Rios (in short Ochi) which was 2 hr bus ride from Kingston. Ocho Rios is a decent beach destination on Northern end of Jamaica. The bus ride was USD 12 one way. I took the 1pm bus and reached at 3pm. Bus service was called Knutsford Express. I had booked a hotel near the beach which costed me USD 60 for a night. I went to the beach into the water. Also went to small casino called Treasure Island, and then later at night to Margaritaville which is a nightclub. Next morning I checked out and took the bus to Kingston again. And went to collect the passport at 2 pm and took my flight at 730pm to JFK.






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